When talking about spiritual matters, I realize I speak a different language from the majority of my friends and family. And speaking a different language is really the best way I can think to describe it. It's like I'm spiritually multilingual. Christianity is my native spiritual language and the one I know best. I've read the Bible in various English translations many times and studied it with Methodists, Church of God, Baptists, Catholics, Pentecostals and even Jehovah Witnesses. They all talk a variation of spiritual Christian language. I've studied the history of the Bible and how/why it was edited and translated. I've loved learning about the context of the times of the Bible and various stages of the church.
There came a time that it seemed the main Christian spiritual language was so focused on hell fire and condemnation that I felt I needed to step away. It sounded like hearing the English language spoken by a bunch of drunken cursing sailors. It sounded crass and sure wasn't my mother's Christian spiritual language or the language of the church I knew as a little girl.
As I traveled and met many people from many places I heard other spiritual languages that spoke more of the truths I believed in my early life. I learned other spiritual languages and they are filled with great beauty. At the core of all of them are similar teachings and values. They all speak of a greater power with which we can commune with discipline, love and awe.
Knowing this, how can I look at these people speaking other spiritual languages and say they are not chosen by God? How can I condemn them? To me, condemnation is the same as cursing them.
How can any of us believe we have exclusive rights to God? I cannot see it that way any more and it's the one part of the Christian spiritual language I can't embrace.
I'm happy to be re-discovering the true beauty of Christian spiritual language through some very beautiful people in my life. They are not focused on condemnation but rather the love that Jesus taught. I can fully embrace that!